I just wanted to remind people of this game's existence. You can customize the fuck right out of it.
I was looking for a type of game that they just don't make anymore. Remember space simulators? They kicked ass. Unfortunately they aren't exactly cranking them out by the dozen these days. The last good one that I can recall was Freelancer, the spiritual successor of the awesome DOS game Privateer.
That's when I came across Freespace 2. I had never heard of it, so I decided to give it a whirl. Freespace 2came out in 1999, so I wasn't expecting much. I played it for a while and it was good. Really good, especially considering that the game is a decade old.
Still it seemed to be lacking something. Just for fun, I looked it up in Wikipedia. Woah. Turns out that the company that made the game released the source code in 2002. In true internet fashion, some geeks decided, out of the kindness of their hearts I guess, to found the Freespace Source Code Project. They then proceeded to make many, many mods and graphics improvements. And that, people, is what made a 1999 space simulator into a really fun 2009 game.
There are a shitload of total conversion kits out there for this game. You want it to look and feel like Battlestar Galactica? No problem. Babylon 5 ships turn you on? You can do it. Wing Commander? Starfox? Star Wars? Fucking Halo? Whatever. There's a total conversion kit for ALL of these.
That's not event he half of it. There are innumerable ways that you can customize the game using freely available mods. Get better space backgrounds, innumerable custom ships, new sounds, new fucking anything. And campaigns? Fuck, I counted 50 before I got tired of counting.
Now be warned. To me, the most important thing about games is GAMEPLAY, not fucking graphics. If you are lookign for a game that can push your $1000 quad SLI graphics setup to the limit, look elsewhere. But if you're a fan of old-school space simulators with great (but not unbelieveable) graphics, solid gameplay, and the ability to customize the game in infinite ways, this is your baby right here. You can see unmodded gameplay video here
So enough blather. How do you get started?First, download the original game.
Next, you'll need to download the Freespace Open Installer.
Unzip it and run the exe.
Now get yourself a joystick (I've played it with an Xbox 360 controller and it works pretty good too) and start playing.
For mods and campaigns, check out this list of mods.
For total conversions, check out these
if you're not sure of what the fuck you're doing, consult the Freespace 2 Wiki